Every time I hear or see people doing the Macarena, I’m transported back to a campground dance in the summer of 1996 and to my sixth grade classroom (where I lost a class-wide Macarena contest).
Why? Because music has a powerful effect on our subconscious mind and songs are linked to memories.
You can use the power of music to enhance your writing. For me, listening to the right music makes writing a first draft much more fun. If I take the time to select a few songs that capture the feel of what I’m shooting for with my writing, the words flow a lot easier.
Although I have been doing this on and off since college, I read an article in Writer’s Digest that makes it an official technique. The article included some useful tips for me to engage my subconscious mind even more, like only listening to that music when I’m writing.
I have to make sure selecting a playlist doesn’t become a mode of procrastination. I don’t need two-hundred songs that feel like a windy day. In fact, the fewer the better so my mind beings to recognize those songs and kicks into writing mode.
Earlier this week, I wanted to write something that felt like summer, since we had a huge snowstorm on Tuesday, my imagination needed all the help it could get. So I created my “Summer” playlist. Feel free to listen to it if you’re writing any summer scenes yourself, or if you need a mental escape from winter.
1. Kodachrome by Simon and Garfunkel
2. Good Vibrations by The Beachboys
3. Green Eyes by Coldplay
4. In My Life as performed by Johnny Cash
5. I’m a Believer as performed by Smash Mouth
6. Honey by Moby
Another good option would be to pick an artist, that has a similar feel to what you’re writing and only listen to that artist when you’re writing.
What songs transport you to different times and places?